Community Foundation Kicks Off Its 25th Anniversary

The Starke County Community Foundation has provided a unique vehicle for addressing the charitable needs of our community while allowing donors great flexibility in fulfilling their philanthropic goals for the past 25 years.

Anyone can give to the Community Foundation. Donors give anywhere from $1 to over a million dollars at a time! Every dollar that is gifted makes a difference. Donors can put their money into any fund that they wish to support. Through a variety of fund options, donors even have the opportunity to choose what type of fund they designate their gift to.

Over the course of the next few months, our articles will be discussing the types of funds the Foundation supports. To begin, let’s talk about designated funds! Designated funds are perhaps one of the easiest funds to understand. Once established, these funds allow donors the opportunity to support their favorite charity forever. For example, the North Judson Park Endowment Fund is a designated fund that was established by donors in 1997 who wished to help fund any projects the North Judson Park Board deemed necessary. Over the course of its lifetime, it has granted over $25,000 to the park and will continue to grant dollars forever.

SCCF also supports field of interest funds. These funds allow donors to respond to certain program areas such as youth, education, health, environment, arts and culture, etc. That being said, the donors are able to choose which area of interest they wish their money to be granted into but not limit their funding to one specific charitable agency. Our Kids Excel Fund was a recently established field of interest fund. This fund has the purpose of supporting students of the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation in whatever ways needed. Field of interest funds can be great for flexibility yet maintaining some structure.

There is also donor advised funds which gives the donor the advantage of assisting in charity selection each year but allows the donor exemption from federal restrictions placed on private foundations. The Foundation’s Board of Directors, however, makes the final decision for the grants in accordance with Federal Tax Code regulations. For example, The Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund is a donor advised fund through SCCF. The Hardesty family has a significant role in deciding where their fund’s dollars end up. This fund has almost granted out $1,000,000!

Donors don’t have to start up their own fund to help out the community. Check out SCCF’s webpage at nicf.org and look through the already available funds. There are plenty of types of funds to choose from and support with your gift!